The Irish Pub which will replace King Street Blues in Kingstowne now has a name. Fiona's Irish Pub is aiming to open by March 10 at 5810 Kingstowne Center in Alexandria.
The man behind the switch is owner Martin White, who came to the U.S. from Ireland in 1986, and has been working in the food business since he was a teenager. White got his start here working with the Hamburger Hamlet group of restaurants, and eventually bought four of the King Street Blues locations. He's also the area developer for Donato's Pizza. But his dream has always been to open a decent, proper Irish Pub and restaurant.
"Not the Americanized Irish pub," he explains. "You won't be seeing any Irish nachos on the menu here anytime soon." Instead, Fiona's will serve such entrees as lamb chops and seafood chowders. White thinks people don't always make the connection that Ireland has great fish. "We great up on seafood; I lived 15 minutes from the water," he said. The pub is named after his daughter.
Fiona's will also have about 16 beers on draft, and 30 bottled varieties. White is working with Abramson Construction to demolish the interior of King Street Blues and replace it with a dark, woody Irish bar. He's putting nearly $1 million into the project.
"I'm living the dream," said White, who came to the U.S. on a temporary visa with $400 to his name. He became a U.S. Citizen on Saint Patrick's Day in 1986, and will be grand marshall of the Alexandria Saint Patrick's Day parade this year. Hopefully by the same day, he can call himself Irish pub owner.
· King Street Blues Kingstowne [Official Site]
King Street Blues Kingstowne [Photo: Facebook]